Turmeric is a well-known spice and is widely used in cooking all over the world. The bright yellow color of turmeric adds color to your dishes and also has various health benefits.
The scientific name of Turmeric is Curcuma longa. It has been used as a medicinal herb in Ayurvedic and Siddha from ancient times. Turmeric also plays an important role in beautification. It makes your skin glow.
The main component of Turmeric is curcumin, which gives the yellow color to spice. Curcumin also plays a vital role in the health benefits of Turmeric. It helps to prevent many diseases using its effective medicinal values. By adding this in your curry, you can get antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits.
You can also take black pepper or ginger along with turmeric to get effective benefits. The black pepper has one compound called piperine that helps to make turmeric more powerful and bioactive.
Common Names of Turmeric ( Manjal ):
- Botanical Name: Curcuma Longa
- Tamil Name: Manjal
- English Name: Turmeric
- Hindi Name: Haldi
- Kannada Name: Arishina, Arisina
- Malayalam Name: Mannal Peati
- Telugu Name: Pasupu
- Punjabi Name: Haldi
- Marathi Name: Halad
- Bengali Name: Halud
- Gujrati Name: Halad, Haldar
- Sanskrit Name: Ameshta, bahula, bhadra, dhirgharaja, gandaplashika
What is Turmeric
The turmeric is obtained from the roots of the perennial herb Curcuma longa that contains many medicinal properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammation. In Ayurveda, it is also known as haridra and is used to treat many diseases, but there is no clinical evidence.
The World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and European Parliament had approved turmeric as an additive to foods.
What is Turmeric Good For
Turmeric is a medicinal spice and it has scientifically proven health benefits. The active compound here is turmeric curcumin, which is very helpful to maintain a healthy body. It’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers prevent you from Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis, Cancer, Heart disorders, age-related issues, etc. We’ve explained all its health benefits below, just go through it.
History of Turmeric
Turmeric has played a major role in the ancient medicines of Asia namely, Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani, and Traditional Chinese medicine. First, it has been used as a dye and later it has been introduced to folk medicine for its beneficial properties. From India, it has spread to all parts of Asia and now it is cultivated all over the world for its medicinal values.
Turmeric is a flowering plant that comes under the family Zingiberaceae. This rhizomatous plant is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. This plant is mainly grown for its rhizomes as it is beneficial for our health. It requires temperatures ranging from 20-30 °C and some amount of rainfall to thrive.
Curcumin plant grows upto 1m in height with highly branched rhizomes. They are cylindrical, aromatic, and are yellow to orange in color. These rhizomes are dried well and ground into powder for usage. This powder is used as a coloring agent in Asian cuisines, especially in curries. It gives a bright yellow color due to the presence of curcumin, the chemical constituent in turmeric.
The leaves are arranged alternately in two rows. They are divided into three parts; leaf sheath, petiole, and leaf blade. A false stem arises from the leaf sheaths.
Curcumin Plant produces hermaphrodite flowers with three folds, i.e., three sepals and 3 corolla lobes. The sepals are white and have fluffy hairs while the petals are bright yellow and are fused into the corolla tube. These flowers are found in the false stem and usually blooms in August.
Nutritional Values of Turmeric (Manjal)
Basically, Turmeric is filled with rich amounts of nutrition, such as vitamins and minerals, to provide great benefits. One tablespoon of turmeric contains the following nutrition values.
14 Health Benefits of Turmeric (Manjal)
1. Natural anti-inflammatory
One of the important benefits of Turmeric is that it contains anti-inflammatory properties, so it fights against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful invaders. The short-term inflammation is beneficial but is difficult when it becomes chronic conditions. It may cause cancer, heart diseases, and many degenerative diseases.
Thus, it is very effective to fight against these chronic inflammations and also prevent these diseases. Turmeric provides effective benefits for rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory diseases.
2. Anti-cancer Effect
Research says cancer is the most dangerous disease, and it is difficult to control the cell spreading. There are many types of cancer, such as pancreatic, colorectal, breast, prostate, and gastric cancers. Studies indicate that Turmeric is an effective herb to use in cancer treatment. It can control the spreading of cells by reducing the growth of tumor cells. Therefore, Turmeric is used to treat and prevent cancer.
Read Also: 10 Best Herbs to Treat Cancer
3. Powerful antioxidant
Oxidation is one of the reasons behind the aging and many diseases, so if it has any damage, it may cause various diseases. The antioxidants can protect your body from free radicals. The free radicals can react with main organic substances like proteins, fatty acids, and DNA.
Turmeric is an effective antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals because of its chemical structure. Turmeric increases the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes of your body. It provides one-two punch to block free radicals and promotes your own antioxidant defenses.
4. Protects Heart disease
Heart disease is the most dangerous disease in the overall world. Turmeric can improve the endothelium function that covers the inside of your heart and blood vessels. The lower function of the endothelium can lead to aging and increases the chance of heart diseases. Turmeric is effective like exercise and it helps to improve the function of endothelial. Turmeric decreases oxidation and inflammation, which is also vital in heart diseases.
5. Treats Diabetes
According to the studies, Turmeric is used to treat and prevent diabetes and diabetic-related diseases like diabetic nephropathy. Taking tetrahydro curcumin is one of the main substances in Turmeric which helps reduce blood sugar levels and increases plasma insulin. Moreover, Turmeric is used to prevent diabetes with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Read Also: Best Herbs to Treat Diabetes
6. Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is the most common neurodegenerative disease, which is the main reason for dementia. But unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. It is very important to prevent this from occurring.
We know that oxidative damage and inflammation play a vital role in Alzheimer’s, and Turmeric has benefits in both oxidative and inflammation. The formation of protein tangles called amyloid plaques leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric is used to remove these plaques.
7. Treats Depression
Depression is related to the lower level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, and Turmeric can increase the level of BDNF. Turmeric is a powerful antidepressant that can treat depression. According to the research of rats, taking 50-200 mg/kg of Turmeric for ten days increases the BDNF.
The high dose of 200 mg/kg contains powerful antidepressant effects. After that, scientists researched humans for six weeks. According to the research on humans, it is known that Turmeric is an effective and safe remedy for treating depression.
8. Prevents age-related chronic diseases
Turmeric has the ability to fight against inflammations and protects your body from free radicals. According to the research, Turmeric is a powerful anti-aging supplement that mainly prevents age-related diseases and brain degeneration.
9. Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
Turmeric provides treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and chronic inflammatory diseases that spreads to other areas such as lungs, heart, eyes, skin, and blood vessels. Rheumatoid Arthritis causes painful swelling on your joints that can affect your bones and lead to physical disabilities. The people who are affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis can consume Turmeric regularly that helps to treat joint pains and swelling.
10. Improves skin health
Turmeric contains antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that provide effective treatment for various skin diseases such as acne, atopic dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. It also helps to eliminate bad odors from your body. According to many researches, Turmeric cures many skin diseases effectively.
11. Helps Osteoarthritis
Turmeric is a vital anti-inflammatory supplement that provides safe and effective complete treatments for those affected by Osteoarthritis. People who have Osteoarthritis can consume Turmeric daily for eight months that will enhance physical function and stiffness. Meriva is an exclusive treatment that is made by a natural curcuminoid mixture using microcrystalline cellulose and phosphatidylcholine.
12. Prevents Eye Degeneration
Glaucoma is a kind of eye problem which is the main cause of blindness over age 60. But once the vision is gone, then you won’t return that. The topical treatment of curcumin helps to protect your eyes from degeneration.
Scientists test with rats by applying the curcumin eye drops twice a day for three weeks. At the end of the research, the treatment of curcumin prevents the eye disorder. But there are many researches and studies required to prove that the curcumin treatment cures eye degeneration for humans.
13. Protects your body from free radicals
Antioxidants present in turmeric help to protect your body from damage that the radicals cause. It also protects your body from highly reactive atoms and environmental pollutants like industrial chemicals and cigarette smoke. High exposure of free radicals may mess with proteins, fats, and DNA in your body that can cause many diseases and health problems such as arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart diseases.
The antioxidants-filled spices like turmeric play an important role in protecting you from the damage of free radicals. Curcumin is able to eliminate different types of free radicals, and it controls enzymes that neutralize free radicals. It prevents enzymes from forming some free radicals.
14. Improves BDNF, and Reduces the Risk of Brain Diseases
Neurons are able to form new connections, but it can increase and multiply the numbers in particular areas of your brain. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is one of the important drivers of this process, which is one type of growth hormone that acts in your brain. Many common brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression can decrease this hormone level.
Curcumin can increase the level of BDNF in your brain. It is very effective to control and reverse many brain diseases and reduce age-related diseases by increasing the BDNF level. Curcumin also helps to enhance your memory power and make you smarter.
Science of Turmeric
Many scientists research turmeric because of its excellent benefits. Modern turmeric research says that you can get all effective benefits by taking turmeric as a whole herb, or you can take it as a tablet with the powerful compound curcumin.
The traditional systems like Sidha and Ayurveda medicine used both fresh turmeric and dried turmeric powder to improve your health since ancient times.
The recent research and studies say that the active compound curcumin provides effective health benefits. In addition, the whole root of the plant has a small quantity of vitamins and minerals. It is important to know how much you should take.
The quantity will determine the effectiveness of benefits. The standard extracts provide comfort and also the exact amount of curcumin but researchers take a high dose.
In 1998, the research proved that the active compound ingredient of black pepper called piperine combines with curcumin that helps to increase the curcumin level in blood.
While looking for the method to increase the bioavailability of curcumin, the experts find the patented formula called BCM-95 CG. The details of this formula are patented, and it uses the other parts of turmeric roots that make the curcumin extract bioavailable.
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
Some scientists and experts warn that the turmeric might interfere with your body against COVID-19. But there is no strong report to assist this warning, and no other data encourages turmeric to use for COVID-19. Therefore, follow a healthy lifestyle and safe method to prevent it.
Cooking with Turmeric
Turmeric plays a very important role in cooking that can be added to almost all dishes in India. But if you are new to cooking with Turmeric, learn about this slowly. It has a bitter taste, so if you add a high quantity, it will change the color and taste of your dish. By adding turmeric in your cooking, you can get natural and more effective health benefits in daily life. Use it in rice, soups, greens, veggies, or try with your kitchari mix.
How to Take Turmeric?
Turmeric can be added as a supplement in many dishes. Take some turmeric powder with warm milk or water and add some honey for taste if you need. Basically, 1-4 gms of turmeric powder is suitable. The extracted liquid is also suitable and alternative for turmeric that is easy to adapt, convenient, and long-lasts.
If you need a convenient supplement for your daily needs, you can consider the turmeric tablets. It is easy and comfortable to take turmeric while traveling. Therefore, keep this in a bottle at your home or office. Turmeric is an effective ingredient in beautification.
Make a paste using turmeric powder and warm water and apply this paste in your full body. Moreover, make a luxurious paste using two teaspoons of gram powder, 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder and some milk based on the consistency and also for more effectiveness, you can add some drops of rose oil or lavender. You can add some almond oil to moisturize your dry skin.
What does Turmeric do?
Turmeric contains a chemical compound called curcumin that helps to decrease inflammation in your body. Due to this, turmeric works effectively in your body.
Turmeric Tea is one of the effective ways to consume this spice. Not only turmeric, you can also add other medicinal spices like ginger, black pepper, etc, for more effective results. But there are no specific recommendations for the intake of turmeric daily. Consuming 1-3 grams of turmeric per day will be on the safer side.
Who should drink Turmeric Tea?
Turmeric Tea is safe for all age group people. It helps you to relieve pain and inflammation without causing any side effects. It can also treat ulcers, internal bleeding and also boost up your immune system.
But people with diabetes and taking blood thinners should not try it without consulting their doctors.
Turmeric Tea Benefits
- Turmeric tea has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the symptoms of Arthritis.
- Curcumin, the main component in turmeric, regulates the cell functions and boosts up the immune system.
- Several studies have proved that curcumin acts as an antioxidant and keeps your heart healthy.
It can also lower the risk of cell damage, thus preventing cancer and inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
The anti-inflammatory activities and antioxidants in turmeric tea will slow down the neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer disease.
Some research has also shown that turmeric curcumin can increase the production of bile digestive fluid and also protects the liver from damage associated with the bile chemicals.
Turmeric Tea Recipe
- Turmeric powder – 1tsp
- Water – 2-3 cups
- Lime or orange juice
- Honey – 1 teaspoon
- Boil 2 to 3 cups of water
- Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder and stir it well
- Keep the stove in simmer and leave it to boil for 5 to 10 minutes
- Now strain the tea in a glass or another container
- Then add honey and boiled milk to the tea for taste
- You can also add freshly squeezed orange or lemon juice for flavor and taste.
Note: You can also add ginger or black pepper powder along with turmeric for effective health benefits.
Side Effects of Turmeric (Manjal)
Generally, Turmeric is considered as a safe and effective herb. There are some side effects reported when you take a high dose of turmerics, such as diarrhea and nausea. If you are already taking other diet supplements, you can consider your medical provisioner before taking turmeric or curcumin.
Taken by mouth
Turmeric is safe when you take it by mouth for a short time. Turmeric provides up to 8 gms of curcumin daily that is safe to use for 2 months and taking 3 gms of turmeric is safe to use for 3 months. Basically, Turmeric won’t cause any side effects.
Applied to skin
Turmeric is also safe when you apply to the skin. It is possibly safe to use inside the mouth as a mouthwash. Moreover, it is also safe to use as an enema.
Pregnancy & Breast-feeding
During pregnancy, you can take Turmeric in your food, whereas it is unsafe to take Turmeric as a medicine because it may promote menstrually or stimulate your uterus so that it may lead to risk during pregnancy. Therefore, if you are pregnant, don’t need to take turmeric as medicinal amounts. There is no reliable information and study to know if the Turmeric is safe to use as medicinal amounts while breast-feeding. Thus, avoid it and stay safe.
Interactions with Turmeric
Turmeric may slow down the process of blood clotting. Thus, it may enhance the chance of bruising and bleeding while you are taking turmeric with the medicines, which slows blood clotting. There are some medicines that slow blood clotting such as diclofenac, aspirin, ibuprofen, clopidogrel, naproxen, warfarin, dalteparin, heparin, enoxaparin, and others.
Dosage of Turmeric
Hay fever : Take 500 mg of curcumin, which is the chemical compound present in turmeric daily for two months.
Depression : Take 500 mg of a chemical compound which is present in turmeric called curcumin rawly two times per day or take along with 20 mg of fluoxetine for 6-8 weeks.
High level of cholesterol or other fats : Take 1.4 gms of turmeric extract twice a day for three months. It also can be given to the children minimum 15 years old.
Osteoarthritis : Take 500 mg of turmeric extract two to four times a day for 1-3 months.
Build fat in the liver for those who drink little or no alcohol : The 500 mg of turmeric contains 70 mg of curcumin and take this daily for 8 weeks. However, a 500 mg turmeric tablet contains 100 mg of curcumin twice a day for 8 weeks.
Itching : Take 1500 mg of turmeric thrice a day for 8 weeks. Moreover, you can take a product that contains turmeric extract and black pepper or long pepper daily for 4 weeks.
Turmeric and curcumin, which is the most effective compound of turmeric, contain many powerful medicinal properties and health benefits. It helps to prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart diseases. It contains powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the chances of arthritis and depression. Taking turmeric in your daily foods helps to reduce and prevent many diseases and boosts your immune system.